We heard a thought-provoking and prophetic message from Hannah Sheets at the NEI Conference in Colorado Springs. The meeting is part of the Appeal to Heaven series. The next Appeal to Heaven Conference is in Chattanooga, TN October 11-13, 2018. (For more information go to www.dutchsheets.org.)
Hannah discussed Millennials within a context of generational studies by Strauss and Howe. These definitive studies of cultural patterns help us identify the “hero generation.” She spoke of Millennials in this context.
Institutions are rebuilt by the hero generation. The generation is more active than reactive, passionate more than passive.
The theory responds to Strauss and Howe’s division of life and history into scores. These twenty-years segments personal and national life provide a way to analyze cycles.
The Bible sees generations in a cyclical sense as well. I detail this in the book Generations (www.amazon.com at my bookstore). History looks like open circles to God. The circle is both a beginning and ending of generations but with the mind to blend them. God blends generations through fathering leadership.
Here’s how that works:
A season of rebuilding institutions or foundations is coming. God sends a preparatory leader. That leader restores the disconnect between fathers and children. This disconnect brings limitation to the inheritance. The forerunner restores the connection.
Fathers originate. They prepare inheritors. They blend the generation at the heart level by shared passion for purpose. The blended generation works the inheritance together. Children learn by doing and inherit responsibility while the fathering leader is alive. In this way, the children do not need to destroy anything. They do not need to start from scratch. They continue something they have been part of. I write about this in the book Fathering: Transforming Individuals and Nations. (Also available at www.amazon.com.)
Strauss and Howe did not see this aspect of the kingdom in history. It would surprise me if they did. It is rare. Yet, it is kingdom normal. It is rare because hell has a strategy to stop it from happening. That strategy is too often successful.
But, the discussion of a hero generation has great merit. The analysis helps us analyze our present situation. Comparisons fit the moment, and we can learn a great deal from their observations. They are not prophetic or inevitable. They are insightful and contextual. Of course, we look beyond their thinking to God’s strategy, but the reality remains. This twenty-year segment of history anticipates a wild reset of institutions and foundations.
History shifts in response to the blending of fathers and children. The blending of this generation will rally a grassroots movement. Fathers and children join hands to reestablish the purpose of the nation.
I welcome it as a New Era Reformation!
I would add a caveat. We need not have a disconnect between existing leaders and Millennials. We should avoid the predicted consequences of upheaval. We should advance in front of it, take control of it, and use it for kingdom advantage.
By joining the generation, we blend the existing fathers with the hero children. And, why not?
Cliodynamics anticipates a decade of stability in the 2020’s. I prophesy that the 2020’s will be the greatest decade of history. I do so with the firmest, most compelling revelation of a New Era Reformation.
The upheaval will begin in the kingdom, the Oikos of God’s lineage in history must join the generation! John the Baptist made this effort as a forerunner of Jesus. We must make this effort now as forerunners of the 2020’s.
Five years ago, I would have been much more pessimistic, though internally hopeful. I am now ecstatically anticipatory!
The upheaval will be both
- the dramatic spiritual outburst of Awakening,
- and the traumatic digestive dispensary of lawlessness and chaos.
The turning of the hearts will adjust the habits of the hearts. This is a massive oversimplification of generational blending. This is a broad-brush analysis of new Millennial embrace of principled cultural norms. It is a contrast with the presentation of anarchy and youthful spite prevalent in media.
It is not the measurement of the majority. It is the mark of the Remnant. Remnant influence, enhanced by Awakening, will gain momentum in the 2020’s. The Remnant will sweep every cultural institution into the flow.